The Mystery Writers of America always puts on a fantastic Edgar Awards gala, but this year’s banquet was exceptional. I’ve already written about what an incredible night it was, but now I’ve got video evidence. Maybe I’m biased, since I had the privilege of giving Lois Duncan her Grand Master Award. But now you can see for yourself. Check out the speeches by Stephen King, Charles Ardai, James Ellroy, Jon and Ruth Jordan, and other luminaries!
Last night was a big night in crime fiction: it was the Edgar Awards gala, hosted by the Mystery Writers of America. Call me biased (I’m on MWA’s Board of Directors), but I think it was the best Edgars yet. My amazing friends Jon and Ruth Jordan were there to receive their long-overdue Raven Award. Charles Ardai, founder of Hard Case Crime, received his Ellery Queen Award with accolades from Stephen King. I presented the incomparable Lois Duncan with her Grand Master Award, which allowed me to tell the crowd precisely why I’ve loved her work since I was in elementary school. Definitely a night to remember!
With two of my favorite writers, Catriona McPherson (center) and Meg Gardiner.
With Sarah Weinman (left) and Ruth Jordan. (I stole this photo from Sarah!)
With Erica Ruth Neubauer (left) and Ruth Jordan.
Jon and Ruth Jordan, on stage accepting their Raven Award, with MWA President Sara Paretsky looking on.
Making my Grand Master Award presentation. I had a lot to say about Lois Duncan!
Chatting with Lois Duncan after the ceremony. She is as charming as she is talented.
With my amazing friend Kim Fay.
With Jon and Ruth Jordan after the awards. I love them!
When my debut novel, THE DAMAGE DONE, was re-released in paperback, I described it as looking like my Fringe alt-universe book cover. (If you’ve never watched the televsion show and have no idea what I’m talking about, imagine a version of modern-day America in which JFK was never assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. became president, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are still standing, and airships are still in use and docking at the Empire State Building. Now go watch Fringe on Netflix.)
Seeing the foreign editions of my books has a similar effect. Here’s the cover of the German edition of THE DAMAGE DONE, which came out a few weeks ago from Egmont Lyx. My one year of high school German isn’t helping me translate the title, IM NAMEN DER SCHULD, but the cover art takes my breath away.
The title of this post says it all. I’m absolutely thrilled that my story “A Hopeless Case,” published last year by All Due Respect, won the Derringer Award for Best Long Story. If you read the phenomenal stories mine was up against, you know what an honor this is.
I’m deeply indebted to the Derringer judges, to the members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society who voted on the awards, and to the All Due Respect crew. You have my heartfelt thanks.
If you’re interested in reading “A Hopeless Case,” All Due Respect is available in print and for Kindle (details, and a preview of the story, here).
Congrats to Doug Allyn, Cathi Stoler, and Joseph D’Agnese, who also won Derringer Awards. The awards will be presented at the Bouchercon 2015 opening ceremonies in Raleigh, NC. I hope to see you there!
The trade paperback of BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS is out today from Tor/Forge. I couldn’t be more excited about it. As a reader who doesn’t buy hardcovers unless they’re written by friends — but who picks up any paperback that looks vaguely interesting — I feel like this is a great way to get a book into the hands of more readers. Need some convincing? Listen to some of the reviewers:
RT Book Reviews: ***Selected as a Top Pick*** “Davidson has penned an outstanding novel that entertains with its carefully plotted tale of kidnapping, murder and duplicity. Impressive from the outset, the surprises continue throughout until the clincher at the end. Her talent for character development shines.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “Blood Always Tells is a heartfelt, energetic story about greed, entitlement and the unbreakable bonds between siblings who never stop believing in each other. Davidson also works in a subtle but effective subtext about racial politics.”
Criminal Element: “Blood Always Tells is a story about power and powerlessness, about selfishness and selflessness, about desperate people doing desperate things. Underneath it all, though, it’s also a meditation on fate and free will, on nature and nurture, and on whether it’s possible to overcome genetics and circumstance.”
Crimespree Magazine: “This is her finest work to date. The devilishly good plot twists will keep you guessing—just when you think you’ve got it worked out, Davidson zings you from another direction.”
Quill & Quire: “With its many curves and revelations, Blood Always Tells manages to surprise as well as thrill. Even the most minor-seeming detail pays off. In the dedication, Davidson writes, “If you’re going to sin, sin big.” The sin for the reader would be missing out on this well-crafted mystery.”
Dead End Follies: “Blood Always Tells is the first post-Lily Moore novel for Hilary Davidson and it is a striking success. It’s a book that takes chances and covers a spectacular emotional range… [it] is Davidson at her boldest, craftiest, most mature and most twisted.”
Publishers Weekly: “[A] riveting standalone from Anthony Award–winner Davidson.”
Jenn’s Bookshelves: “Desmond shines through as a bright light what could have potentially been a dark and chilling storyline… Characters like this are a characteristic of Davidson’s writing; in each she takes you on a wild journey, introducing you to the worst members of society with that one character that serves as a ray of hope amidst all the chaos and depravity.”
The Globe & Mail: “This is her best mystery yet.”
Suspense Magazine: “Fantastic… With extremely well-written characters and a fabulous plot, mysteries just don’t get better than this!”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “A striking departure from her series with travel journalist Lily Moore… engrossing.”
Words of Mystery: “Fast paced, very difficult to put down and thrilling up until the very last page.”
Crime Fiction Collective: “Gripping and suspenseful. You may find yourself reading long into the night.”
Have I convinced you? Grab it now!
Next week is just a little bit hectic. How hectic? Here’s my schedule. If you’re in NYC or Portland, Oregon, come see me!
Sunday, March 8, 2015, New York City, 6pm-9pm
Noir at the Bar NYC at Shade (241 Sullivan Street, NYC; 212-982-6275). I’m reading with a great group of miscreants, including Angel Colón, Dave White, Thomas Pluck, Todd Robinson, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Nick Kolakowski, Tracey Landau, Vincent Zandiri, Teel James Glenn, and Anthony Schiavino. Free event, open to all!
Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Portland, Oregon, 6pm
I’m reading at Noir at the Bar PDX with host Johnny Shaw, Todd Robinson, Lou Berney, J. David Osborne, Blake Crouch, Barry Graham, and S.G. Redling. The mayhem starts at 6pm and will continue until we’re kicked out at Church (2600 NE Sandy Blvd., Portland, OR; 503-206-8962). All welcome!
March 12-15, 2015, Portland, Oregon
I’m on two panels at Crimelandia: Left Coast Crime 2015:
- Friday, 11:30am-12:15pm:“Can You Go Too Far? Violence in Fiction” with Maegan Beaumont, Jennifer Hillier, Todd Robinson, and moderator Vella Munn
- Saturday, 1:30pm-2:15pm:“Been There, Wrote That: The Game Show” with Meg Gardiner Timothy Hallinan D.P. (Doug) Lyle, and moderator Gar Anthony Haywood
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I’m co-hosting a table at the LCC Awards Banquet on Saturday night with my tremendously talented friend Chris Holm. You can sign up to sit with us when you register. There will be mayhem! And swag. But mostly mayhem…
I’ve been lucky enough to have short stories published in a wide array of anthologies, but I’m especially excited about one that’s out today from Gutter Books. TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND: CRIME FICTION INSPIRED BY THE SONGS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN is the brainchild of the ferociously talented Joe Clifford. He rounded up a great group of miscreants — including Dennis Lehane, James Grady, Chris F. Holm, Todd Robinson, Steve Weddle, Eric Beetner, and Jordan Harper — and put together an original collection that’s as gritty and intense as the music that inspired it. My contribution is “Hungry Heart,” named for a Springsteen song released in 1980. The song begins with the line, “Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / I went out for a ride and I never went back.” That got me thinking about the kind of man who’d walk out on his family, and what he might be doing years later.
When you buy a copy of TROUBLE IN THE HEARTLAND, a portion of the proceeds is going to the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Get the book now. And listen to The Boss.
I’m in Las Vegas right now, but unless I lose my plane ticket at the baccarat table, I’ll be heading to Long Beach tomorrow. (Note: I’m not cool enough to play baccarat, so there is zero chance of this happening. Selling my ticket to play at the GoldFish slots is within the realm of possibility, though. Those goldfish keep swimming away with my money!) This will be my fifth Bouchercon, and I can’t wait to see my criminally-minded friends. Here’s where to find me at the convention:
Friday, November 14:
10am-11am: I’ll be on the ”Sassy, Sexy, and Smart Female Protagonists” panel with Elaine Viets (moderator), Andrew Mayne, Diane Vallere, and James Ziskin. Come hear me explain why Lily Moore would clock me if I called her “sassy.” (We’ll be signing books afterwards from 11am to 11:20am.)
11:30am-12:30pm: I’m moderating the “Crime Novel as Social Novel” panel with Joseph Clifford, Les Edgerton, Sara J. Henry, Bill Loehfelm, and Tim O’Mara. Don’t miss this — it’s going to be a blast! (We’ll be signing books afterwards from 12:30pm to 1pm.)
2:30pm-4:30pm: I’ll be in the Tor/Forge hospitality suite. Come hang out, play author bingo, or just enjoy the free snacks. Who doesn’t want free snacks?
Saturday, November 15:
10am-11am: I’m part of the “Bloody Murder: Recommendations from the Margins” mega-event. Sara Paretsky and Charlaine Harris will co-host a formidable roster of writers talking about authors you need to discover. Book signing to follow from 11am to 11:30am.
This weekend, I’m heading to Vancouver, to take part in the Vancouver Writers Fest. I’m so excited! On Saturday, October 25, at 10:30am, I’m on a panel with crime writers Ian Hamilton and Michael Robotham. On Sunday, October 26, I’m one of the featured authors at the Afternoon Tea at 3:30pm, and I’ll be reading from BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS. (Don’t worry, no one is actually letting me near the tea itself; I have a reputation.)
If you can’t catch me in person, you can still hear me read thanks to the latest CrimeWAV podcast. Listen to a section from BLOOD ALWAYS TELLS.
The photo above was taken at Woodlawn Cemetery on October 5th, the day I did a Mystery Writers of America event there with a group of fabulous writers (Linda Fairstein, Lawrence Block, Lyndsay Faye, and heather Graham.) Talking crime fiction and cemeteries? I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!
Fall of my favorite time of year, not least because it’s filled with events. This weekend is a busy one for me:
Friday, October 3rd, 7pm-9pm: I’ll be reading at KGB Bar in New York’s East Village with a great crew that includes Rob Brunet, Terrence McCauley, Thomas Pluck, Tracey Landau, and A.C. Frieden. KGB Bar is located at 85 East 4th Street. This event is free and open to all!
Sunday, October 5th, 1pm-4pm: I’m one of the featured writers at a Mystery Writers of America event at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. The roster also includes superstar authors Linda Fairstein, Lawrence Block, Heather Graham, and Lyndsay Faye. I’ll be on a panel as well as making a presentation about funerary art, using images from cemeteries I’ve visited around the world (finally, my crazy hobby has a purpose!). There’s also a wonderful slate of events in the morning being presented by Woodlawn. You can buy tickets for the morning program or the afternoon program (or both!), and there’s a boxed-lunch option, too. Check out this piece I wrote for Criminal Element about why Woodlawn is such an amazing place.